Tuesday, March 19, 2013

how hiring is like internet dating

So, I once joined an online dating site for a couple of months. I figured that if I was going to make fun of it, I might as well try it (this also explains a short-lived Twitter account I had for work).  I soon fled the cyber love scene, overwhelmed by a spectrum of weirdness.  Recently though, while mired in the midst of seasonal hiring, I had a sense of deja vu.  It all seemed so...familiar, and not just because all hiring is done electronically now.

1.  A lot of folks just don't know what to say.  Here is an excerpt from a sample online dating profile, spelling and grammar intact: "I never know what to say in these things. LOL. They say I have to rite something, so here goes. Im a fun loving guy who likes to cuttle and be cose to someone. I like motorcycles and playing video games. well I have nothing else to say but am being forced to fill out this box. LOL."
Here is the applicant equivalent: "Worked on a forest service engine.  Fought fire.  Training.  Worked on  projects."  These applicants usually neglect to provide references, and sometimes even the name of the Forest on which they worked.  Do they actually exist?

2.  Some of them think pretty highly of themselves.  One of these online daters might say:  "Quite honestly, I am a blast to be around.  I am an ALPHA. I am good looking, confident, and charismatic and have values and principals. You women say you want a nice guy, but you obviously don't so I had to expand my search area."
An applicant in this category says, "I know everything there is to know about running an engine.  I raised employee morale every day. I was the fittest person on my crew."

3.  Some of them have unrealistic expectations.  Fifty years old and looking for women 18-30? Um, ok.  A guy who was 46 explained to me that he was seeking younger women because "menopause makes women crazy."  Think you'll attract great dates by posting a diatribe about your ex on your profile, or by saying you wear "wranglers with a 32-inch waste"?  I'm guessing not.
Someone applying for a job who is afflicted with this malady will admit that they have never done this job before, but they are sure they can do it.  Saw a helicopter fly by on a fire? This often turns into, "Worked with helicopters frequently."  Applying for a helicopter job but stating in your resume that you don't want to work on a helicopter crew because you "don't want to sit around at a helibase"? Yes, he actually said that.

4.  It's a leap of faith.  Anyone can look good on paper, or on a computer screen.  Ten year old photos?  Mom wrote your profile?  Copy your friend's application?  Sooner or later you just have to pick one and see who shows up.

Don't get me wrong.  I wish you the best, even the bad spellers, the ones who talk about Play Station in their profiles, the applicants who ask, "where is this place again?" when you call them.  It's strange to go internet shopping for an employee, let alone a mate.  Good luck, everyone.

This is not me, but I know how she feels.


  1. Oh, can so relate to both scenarios!

  2. This is funny! How can you resist someone who wants to cuttle or someone who has values and principals? BTW, do you have room for someone who brings along a principal?


I try to answer all comments, so comment away!